FIFA financial impact being tallied in Moncton

Moncton officials are still trying to determine the financial impact that hosting the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup has had on local businesses, but the Chamber of Commerce says the publicity for the city has been priceless.

Hosting 8 games in U-20 Women's World Cup has been priceless for city, says Chamber of Commerce

Moncton officials are still trying to determine the financial impact of hosting the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup.

The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance had estimated the eight-game event would bring just over $7 million to the city.

The Moncton games each attracted an average of about 4,000 spectators. (FIFA)
Carol O'Reilly, the CEO of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce, says it's too soon to know the exact dollar amount.

But the publicity gained from hosting world class soccer is priceless, she said.

"We can never financially measure the economic impact of having a really successful world event. So Moncton is going to be talked about through countries all over the world."

Moncton's involvement with the tournament ended Wednesday night, with a 6-2 semi-final victory for Nigeria over North Korea.

O'Reilly says it's been good for businesses across the city.

"You know, all of the people coming, the trainers and the coaches are staying. They're eating in our restaurants and they're shopping in our stores," she said.

"I was speaking with people from the Champlain Mall and they said that it's certainly been steady business and it's been very busy there. I think it's felt throughout the entire business community."

Steve Clerke, the co-owner of Gifts Galore, says the international tournament has been great for his store, which stocked up on soccer-related merchandise, including teddy bears, piggy banks, and sun catchers.

"One night we had over 60 people at the same time in the store and you heard so many languages being spoken. It was very exciting," he said.

About 4,000 spectators attended each of the games, which is about half the capacity of the University of Moncton stadium.

Organizers are expecting even more visitors during the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada next year.

Moncton will host seven games in June.

The FIFA Under-20 championship match will be between Germany and Nigeria in Montreal on Sunday.